Mr. Trump is running for re-election
(just as he has been doing since the day he was first elected) and having to say
that the economy is great. Well, it isn’t because it’s a capitalist economy about
to have a nasty recession and usually when you have had a recession postponed
the postponement makes it worse. You know, like having an illness that you don’t
attend to gets worse if you don’t attend to it.
Well, capitalism has a lot of parallels with illnesses. So Mr. Trump goes around
saying it’s wonderful but the reality is, as his economic advisors know, that a
recession is coming. This scares Mr. Trump. It threatens his reelection
because if that downturn we all know is coming (because of capitalism) if that
downturn hits in 2019 or even if it hits in the first part of 2020 it’s going to
hurt millions of Americans (they always do, these downturns) and those people are
not gonna be happy with Mr. Trump. And whoever runs against him will say “Hey
Mr. Trump, it’s the economy, stupid” like earlier candidates have done in the same
situation. So what is Mr. Trump doing? Well, he’s trying to blame the economic
troubles on somebody else. And he’s a specialist, just like Mr. Johnson is in
England. He blames, you guessed it, immigrants. Why not? And foreigners. Why
not? The Chinese, you see, have been cheating
us, and the Mexicans and the Canadians and the Europeans. Gee, the whole world
has just been taking it out on the good old victim, United States. It’s a picture
no other part of the world recognizes but it sells in the US, or at least Mr.
Trump hopes so. So he’s gonna blame them but that’s not enough because this is a
doozy that’s coming. So he’s decided to blame the Federal Reserve.
You see, they should cut interest rates. By yelling about the Federal Reserve
he’s already showing where the blame (he hopes) will go for the economic troubles.
Not to him, not to his policy, not to his carrying out what capitalism wants while
blaming immigrants and foreigners. No, no. He can now also blame the Federal
Reserve. It didn’t cut interest rates. And the second reason he wants that to
happen is if you cut interest rates you make it cheaper for people to borrow.
Maybe, he hopes, he crosses his fingers (or whatever it is that he crosses) and he
hopes that maybe with lower interest rates people will borrow more. Businesses
will borrow more and maybe the economy, the downturn, will be delayed a few
months, just long enough to get him to slide back into office in November of
2020. That’s what’s going on. Capitalism is, in fact, in trouble in the United
States as the extreme inequality makes evident every day. As the turmoil,
everything from opioid crisis to mass shootings, gives you ample evidence. What
is being done? Well, in the US, as in the UK, next to nothing. Instead we engage in
denial, blaming scapegoats wherever we can find
them: immigrants, foreign trading partners, the Federal Reserve, anything but the
system because Mr. Trump, like Mr. Johnson, are loyal servants of the status
quo. Don’t blame the system. Don’t change the system. That’s the iron rule
governing them. You can say whatever you want as long as you protect what puts
you in office and what keeps you in office. That’s the harsh reality. But the
irony of it all is that the capitalism they’re protecting keeps deteriorating
because they’re not facing what the problems are and what the changes needed
to fix it are all about. And that can only go so far.